New Delhi: Bihar Minister Vinod Narayan Jha has been panned by women’s rights groups for his misogynistic and sexist remarks on newly inducted Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whom he called “just a beautiful face.”
Condemning the minister’s statement, noted activist Ranjana Kumari said a political leader had no business in describing how a woman looks.
“He should be reprimanded by his party for making such misogynistic and sexist comments about Priyanka. He could talk about her competence but how she looks is none of his business” Kumari said.
“It is very shameful that politicians of different shades and colours are looking at women in politics only as providing ornamental value to the party. That’s why it is so difficult for women to join politics, she said.
About the Women’s Reservation Bill she said, “Bihar is that state which never talks about 33 per cent reservation for women and if a minister from that state makes such statement then it is nothing but shameful.”
Voicing similar sentiment, activist Annie Raja called out the minister for his “extremely condemnable” and “anti-women” remarks.
“Such statements show that there is complete lack of sensitivity in political leaders towards women irrespective of a particular party. They don’t realize that the time has changed and they may be punished under law for making such remarks,” Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Woman said.
The senior Left Party leader also pointed out those recurring and repetitive remarks on women by male politicians was a matter of concern.
“It is worrisome that such remarks keep coming on regular basis. But when these are highlighted in media and become subject to protest then these leaders say sorry and escape from consequences. Until their party leadership takes strict action against them, I don’t think anything is going to change,” she said.
Another activist Shamina Shafiq has said it was very regressive and unfortunate that a minister had made such a comment on a woman of such calibre and dignity and whose forefathers had given their lives for the country.
“Forget about her surname and family orientations if you consider her being talked about as a common woman how dare a minister says that a woman holds nothing but just beauty? It shows the regressive mindset of the minister. Unfortunately, same mindset reflects in the implementation of all schemes and policies which are made for women. This government is anti-women and they are now unfolding their true colour” she said.
The Bihar cabinet minister Bihar had earlier said about Priyanka that “votes cannot be won on basis of beautiful faces.”
“She is very beautiful but other than that she holds no political achievement,” he had said.